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Nigeria: ruling APC appoints Godswill Akpabio as President of the Senate

Nigeria: ruling APC appoints Godswill Akpabio as President of the Senate
The new President of the Nigerian Senate, Godswill Akpabio, after being sworn in in Abuja, Nigeria, on 13 June 2023.   -  
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MALIK KONATE/AFP or licensors


Nigeria's ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday nominated the man who will preside over the Senate in the run-up to the 2023 elections.

Godswill Akpabio, 61, of the APC, representing the north-western state of Akwa Ibom, was chosen on Tuesday to preside over the country's upper house.

Akpabio, who served two terms as governor of Akwa Ibom State, promised to work closely with lawmakers from eight political parties represented in Parliament to help control insecurity and economic hardship.

Nigeria's new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took office on 29 May after a hotly contested presidential election in February that opposition parties are challenging in court. 

Tinubu's APC holds the majority of seats in both houses of the National Assembly following the February legislative elections. "This is the first time in the Nigerian Senate that eight political parties are sitting together," he said.

"The country is at a crossroads, facing a number of challenges. We have just inherited an economy that needs renewal and revitalization," he insisted.

As Senate President, Akpabio is Nigeria's third-highest political leader, after Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

The ruling APC holds the largest number of seats in the 109-member Senate with 59 senators, followed by the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which has 36 seats out of the 50 opposition senators.

The APC also leads the lower house with 162 seats in the 360-member House of Representatives. Members of Nigeria's lower house also elected the ruling party's candidate, Abass Tajudeen, as its Speaker.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and businessman, has made the country's security and economic situation the priority of his government.

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